Welcome to our podcast #39! This is the second part in our series in which we look at online marketing essentials and cover the top ten elements of a successful website. As the world of websites is constantly changing we felt that it would be a good idea to re-visit this topic and look at what is relevant today.
What did Andrew and Heather learn this week?
Heather has been looking at the new Google Keyword Planner (replacement of the Keyword Tool). You do now need to have a Google account to use the tool but don’t be put off that it asks you to ‘sign in to your adwords’ account. You don’t need to be paying for and placing ads to use the new tool. It is still a great tool to use in order to find out what the market wants before creating your product or website. You can find what the popular keyword searches are and base your product from there.
Andrew has been playing around with his iPad and has found an app which helps him to write notes. The app is called Penultimate and it lets you sync notes you make into Evernote. You are able to write using a stylus pen and can even mark up PDF documents and photos. There are also a number of different styles of writing paper available. Andrew attends a lot of events where he takes notes on his iPad so will find it a lot easier with this app rather than keeping up with typing!
Online Marketing Essentials:
Themes and Designs:
The look of your website! The key thing these days is that is must be responsive. This means that it automatically re-sizes itself depending upon what device your website is being viewed from. It means that the user has an easier time navigating your website rather than having to pinch down your website on their phone for example. Remember that a mobile website is not necessarily the same as a responsive site. It is another version of your website, usually through a plug-in on your site. The responsive theme is a lot easier to use in the first place and will give viewers your same website, but in a version compatible with their device.
Where can you get these themes?
- Custom themes – designed by someone who codes it for you.
- Buy themes from places such as Woo Themes, Theme Forest or Elegant Themes.
- Free themes – we don’t recommend these as the chances are they won’t be updated so regularly like paid themes which will be upgraded for hacking threats etc.
The average cost of a pre-made theme these days is $40 – $50. They are generally relatively easy to install, but we would recommend that you get help doing this to make sure it ends up looking how you want it to!
People are often confused about what a blog actually is; it is simply a place where you can write your own articles or blog posts, including sharing photos and videos. These are important to have on your website as Google search results are heavily weighted on relevant, good content.
If for example, you do not update your content often so returning visitors start to drop off, Google will notice this ‘bounce rate’ and your site could fall down the rankings. With fresh content you are more likely to encourage regular, repeat visitors who stay on your site longer. Google will like this and rank your website higher! Updating your content is important as it also shows people that you still exist as a business! The majority of your new organic traffic will come to you via a search which turns up one of your blog posts.
The important aspects in terms of layout of blogs on your website are ensuring that it is in your main menu (could be under ‘blog’ or ‘articles’ etc). It is also recommended that you bring recent posts through to your homepage and have something on your sidebar such as ‘popular posts’. Use of images is important and it is a good idea to have some kind of opt-in at the bottom of your posts.
The term thrown around is ‘above the fold’. This basically means that the important things or ‘prime real estate’ on a website are found above the position where you would need to scroll down the page. Important things to keep above the fold are your navigation bar, opt-ins (usually in top right sidebar), and a very clear idea of what your website is about. You could also use ‘social proof’ such as testimonials or endorsements in that top area. You want people to understand very quickly what you are about and why they should look at you. Do remember that less is more! Don’t over-complicate your page so that people get confused.
Fiverr Gig of the Week: We haven’t ordered one this week but there are people available who will tweak and put your themes in place for you. Here we have posted a couple of highly rated gigs that can help you with this…
Stay tuned for our next podcast for the last of our ‘top 10’ essentials for your website. Do you have questions or comments for us? Please leave below!